Founded in 1949 and possibly best known for household names such as Alcolin Cold Glue, Permobond, Silicone Sealant and Contact Adhesive, Permoseal has an excellent reputation as a leading manufacturer and supplier of adhesives, sealants and DIY products.
The first company to launch Cold Glue to the South African market in 1954, Permoseal began to manufacture locally in 1963 after concluding a licensing agreement with Ebnother of Switzerland and importing its first reactor. When the Jacobs family acquired the business in 1984, Alcolin Cold Glue alone accounted for over 65% of the total sales. Today, the company boasts over 400 different products across the consumer, construction and industrial markets, selling over 18 million units a year.
Says MD Robin Jacobs, “It’s been a major highlight in my career to see the expansion of Alcolin as a range consisting of a multitude of products compared to a single product back in the day.”
Today, Permoseal’s footprint does not only cover every corner of South Africa but stretches into 12 neighbouring countries and further afield to East and West Africa, recently adding Kenya and Uganda. The company also has direct dealings in the USA and Australia.
Acquisitions and agreements
While the Alcolin brand is synonymous with quality DIY products and has remained the brand leader in South Africa since its launch, another Permoseal highlight has been the Bostik License agreement signed in 1999. “With Permoseal being appointed as the exclusive distributor of Bostik and Evo-Stik to the South African market, this added a whole new dimension to our offering, providing a quality platform for expansion into stationery and DIY markets,” explains Robin. “Evo-Stik came along a bit later and is one of the strongest brands in the UK; it has been embraced by local customers, growing at double digit figures every year.”
Including a product with a playful name like Sticks like Sh*t, who wouldn’t take notice of the Evo-Stik range? Evo-Stik was first produced internationally by Evode Chemical Products, as a key brand for DIY enthusiasts in the 1970s and 1980s. The company was later bought by Bostik, who are home to one of the UK’s leading gap filling adhesives, Gripfill, now also available locally.
Besides licence agreements, other acquisitions over the years included Gluepaste in 2011, the oldest glue manufacturing company in South Africa; Nortec, formerly known as Tal Industrial Adhesives in 2012, and Perma Products in 2017, known for its double sided tape and nail-on picture mounts. Today, Perma’s categories expand to kitchen and bathroom accessories, hooks, cable ties, surface saves, toolboxes, storage solutions and a comprehensive range of child safety products, a perfect fit for Permoseal.
Production capacity and development
Permoseal boasts over 56 000m² of the best-equipped production, laboratory and research and development facilities in the country, constantly making significant investments in equipment that allows the company to simulate large production lines. Continual expansion plans include further property acquisitions to allow for an increase in production capacity.
Permoseal was the first chemical company in Africa to be awarded the coveted ISO 9002 quality management system accreditation, and the company still manufactures according to ISO standards.
In 2016, Permoseal launched its construction division focusing on waterproofing, concrete repair and protection, professional sealants and flooring. A year later, an epoxy manufacturing plant was established at the head office in Montague Gardens.